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Waterproofers Blog

What causes basements to leak

It might not seem like it now, with the snow and sub-zero temperatures, but spring will be here before you know it.

Spring is party time for your garden, and the flowers and trees around your property – but another thing entirely for the basement of your home.

Maybe you notice a feeling of dampness or brownish stains on the walls and ceiling, mildew, stains on the carpet, or rust stains on the floor that comes from water corrosion to metal like nails, and electrical boxes. Basement flooding is a messy and expensive reality. But you are not alone. Many homeowners face the same challenges.

Usually a big part of addressing any problem is figuring out why something happens in the first place. In the case of basement flooding we know the answer – water pressure that builds up against the home’s foundation. The more rain there is the more pressure is created by water in the loose soil around the basement. That pressure pushes water through the walls and floors.

basement leak fixed with interior waterproofing

But that’s not the only reason – during heavy rain, city sewers can become overloaded, and can back up water and sewage into homes. Municipal infrastructure is aging.

Older Homes Are More At Risk Of A Basement Leak

This has become such an important issue the City of Toronto introduced a subsidy program so homeowners can have a basement waterproofing system installed.

The city offers owners of single-family, duplex, and triplex residential homes up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices like a backwater valve (a backwater valve is a device that prevents outbound water from the home to re-enter through the home’s drain pipes), a sump pump and the capping of a home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection. Have a look at the rules here and keep in mind you’ll need licensed, professional waterproofers to do the job.

Clogged eavestroughs or downspouts, and clogged window wells or poorly sealed stairwell doors, also cause flooding and basement leaks.

Older homes – where mortar joints around cement blocks have worn down, older pipes are no longer sealed properly, cracks emerge over time in the walls and floors, or the joints where the concrete floor meets the basement walls start to break down – are the highest risk.

With climate change comes an increase in precipitation.

So how do you fix the problem? All homes, old and new, need to have a basement waterproofing system in place. Contact a basement waterproofing company to install either an exterior or interior waterproofing system – or both.

Interior basement waterproofing features a drainage system led by a sump pump that is connected to your home’s drainage tiles, pumping water to a location outside of the home, minimizing those water pressure effects. Those drain tiles will collect water that’s flowing throw cracks in the cement of the wall or via the area where the floor meets the wall.

Exterior Waterproofing Is A Very Effective Way Of Preventing A Basement Leak

Exterior waterproofing is a more comprehensive, multi-step job, involving major excavation work, installing protective coating and a drainage membrane, as well as a new weeping tile system, but it’s a highly effective way of keeping your basement dry.

Exterior waterproofing is most definitely not a job that should be left to amateurs or weekend warriors.

Overall, a basement waterproofing system will funnel water away from your basement.

The damage caused by a basement leak, leading to water damage to dry wall, wiring, floors, mould and mildew issues, can run the homeowner into the thousands of dollars. There is also the incalculable emotional cost that comes with seeing family possessions and heirlooms permanently destroyed.

Taking care of the home while keeping it dry is key in maintaining or increasing its value. A home purchase is the most important investment most of us will make in our lifetime. And property values around the GTA are only going up. Many homeowners have converted their basements into rental income opportunities, making a home waterproofing system that much more economical, from an investment perspective. Better to get ahead of any potential basement leak issue now.

Canada Waterproofers has been installing basement waterproofing systems in the GTA for over 25 years. Call now for a free assessment and quote.

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